Tag Archives: Faith

Family Worship

I occasionally pull out the guitar and sing a few songs with my family.  I think it is a healthy practice, and I love that quality time.  The other day, I was playing around on the guitar and I pulled out my new portable audio recorder so that I could catch Caleb singing with me.  He was sitting on my lap, grabbing the strings, and trying to copy what I was singing.

Even though he doesn’t understand volume or tone, I appreciate the effort.  There will come a day when he won’t sit on my lap and sing at the top of his lungs, so I will take all the chances I can get.  Forgive the raw quality of the recording.  A professional I am not.  To God be the glory.


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Sunset in Aptos

Sunset in Aptos

There can be no words to describe the glories of God’s creation. I am currently hunkered down at a beach house in Aptos, California. My wife is a photographer, my sister is a photographer, my mom is a painter, and my dad is a musician. There is no lack of creative talent in this house, and yet there has been one common theme when we talk about the sunsets here: there is no way we can ever replicate that kind of beauty in our media, no matter how hard we try. Our cameras can’t capture what our eyes can see, and our paintbrush can’t recreate the ever-changing colors as the sun sets. This picture was one of my many frantic attempts at capturing just some of the beauty that takes our breath away out here.

To God be all the glory.

Psalms 136:1-9

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

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Our son is showing signs of defiance.  We have all seen it.  There are the classic cases of the kid throwing a fit in Wal-Mart over a toy he can’t have.  Usually, they’re flat out sprawled on the floor or limp in the basked bawling their eyes out and screaming about something.  I pray that we never get there.  I don’t think I could handle the embarrassment.  Actually, compared to those cases, Caleb is a complete angel.  Here is an example:

Making dinner each night is quite the ordeal for our little guy.  He is okay to play by himself for a little while when we are just sitting on the couch, but all the movement in the kitchen seems to stimulate him and he joins in on the hustle-and-bustle.  One night, I was grilling some chicken in the backyard so I was going in and out of the back door constantly.  As I was stepping outside to put the chicken on, Caleb thought it would be fun to come outside with me.  With my hands full and the grill waiting, all I could do was repeatedly ask him to close the door.  He didn’t have shoes on and he still hasn’t mastered the use of porch steps.  Of course, he wasn’t too excited about the idea, but he finally complied.

I only wish you could have seen the look on his face as he pushed the door closed.  One would think that we had told him Elmo had died and Sesame Street was canceled.  As the door finally shut (he pushed it shut and made sure it latched like we taught him), he clapped.  He was still very upset, but managed to eek out a “yay!” between his sniffles and sobs.

That was not an isolated incident either.  It has become the norm as Caleb learns the balance between obedience and pleasure.  My wife and I have learned so much from him about our own relationship to our heavenly father.  We have learned to trust Him, but we still scream and cry as we carry out His plan.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Ephesians 6:1 (ESV)

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Wobble: Balance and Faith

He looks in the direction he wants to go.  One foot leaves the ground and hangs for a second while his weight shifts.  The foot returns to the ground and he stumbles forward.  Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot.


The whole world is constantly shifting under my son’s feet.  His perambulating can be called rocky, unstable, and haphazard.  I have noticed that while he is standing I can easily push him and he will easily fall.  No, I don’t push my kid around regularly, but a man has to know his son’s abilities and limits.  The point is, standing and walking unaided is a brand new skill that requires quite a bit of practice to get right.  We weren’t born riding a surfboard, nor did we come out of the womb ready to hike up a mountain.  Balance comes naturally, but not immediately.

The most useful part about Caleb’s new ability is that we don’t have to carry him everywhere.  What a relief for both of us.  He is such a big boy now, and my arms get pretty tired after just a few minutes of holding him.  His unstable nature makes it easy for us to send him in the direction we want him to go.  However, he is learning to pull away and resist our loving guidance.  He is learning that he doesn’t like it when we tell him not to see what’s in the street.  He realizes that he has a fighting chance, and he’s gonna take it to see what’s around the corner.

I am so afraid that Caleb is going to push away from us in his later years.  I want him to think on his own and make his own decisions about God and his faith, but I fear that the world will influence him to turn away from God.  I am powerless to do anything about it, so I pray that God will call Caleb to Him.  I also pray that I will learn to discipline Caleb lovingly and wisely so that he respects me, even when he dislikes me.

For now, we will work on his walking skill.  He will need it for the rest of his life.

When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep steady its pillars. Selah

Psalm 75:3 (ESV)

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